Published: June 15th 2011June 12th 2011
Really like this area of France, of the south coast. Everything is very light, bright and floral. Also very tourist orientated and at this moment, towards French tourists, rather than other visitors, as this is a holiday weekend. All the better that the sun is shining very large and yellow in a lovely cornflower blue sky.
Using the little map provided by the campsite we set off to find Bandol which is a few miles to the west on the coast. First attempt to get towards the sea took us to Sanary-sur-mer so we attempted to drive the coast road to Bandol but were thwarted at several turns as this particular area of coastline seems to be filled with some rather exclusive houses and private roads, especially any road with direct access to the sea. With the sea to our left, we bypassed one private road, went down a hill and the sea, a completely different bay, was on our right. Can’t explain that at all even after checking the map and finding that the Sanary-sur-mer peninsula has a very undulating coast line (with some lovely looking little sandy coves we couldn’t get to).
We found Bandol and liked it
very much. So obviously did lots of other people, especially being a Sunday and a holiday weekend. Lots of handy dedicated ‘2 roues’ parking and plenty of scooters and motorbikes making use of it. We had a lovely stroll round. There is a big sandy beach right in the centre as well as a massive arc of beach on our approach along the coast road. The marina was full of some very expensive looking boats. The many cafes and restaurants of elegant, and otherwise, diners. We think this is quite an upmarket seaside area judging by the cost of some of the clothes for sale in the seafront boutiques. Wanted to buy some fresh food from the attractive stalls in the little market but too difficult when we are on the scooter and carrying swimming gear.
We had cool drinks and a crepe then went back along to the big sandy beach. Mistimed something somewhere as the afternoon strong and chill wind had just decided to blow. I had a swim which was brave as the water was like ice (but nice once I was in as long as I stayed in !). We managed 30 minutes drying off in
Brightly coloured boats in Sanary-sur-mer
the sun but that was enough as we were being whipped by the sand.
On scooter and back to Sanary-sur-Mer. Also a lovely fishing town and incredibly colourful. We discovered that there was a regatta in progress and all the traditional fishing boats of the area were on display in the harbour bedecked with bunting and flags. Many of the sailors were wearing traditional blue and white striped tops and red sashes. As well as the lovely boats to delight the eyes and my camera, there were stalls along the completely pedestrianised and enormous seafront with paintings and various other displays including one of a traditional fisherman’s cottage. Very enjoyable.
Bob was not though enjoying the display as much as I expected as he was not feeling well so after an icecream we went back to the campsite where I braved the icy wind round the beautiful campsite swimming pool and had another swim. Bob put his fleece on as he was very cold and his teeth chattering which was odd as by now the temperature was in the high 20s. I will hopefully remember writing this if Bob ever says he inexplicably feels cold when it is hot again
There are more photos below